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CD8_Rob

'59 Galaxie Overheating

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I've got a '59 Galaxie that I've been working on. Recent challenge: Engine is overheating. So far I have replaced the Thermostat, Radiator, Temperature Sensor (and T-adapter), belts and hoses. I have also taken the pump apart and verified proper operation. But its still overheating. I'm looking for suggestions, I know that timing could cause some overheating, but overheating seems excessive for overheating. All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

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Welcome, Rob. This site has a host of talent and resources to offer freely. The guys here are absolutely the best.

First of all, what is a, "T-adapter"?

I have a few suggestions, and things to check.

Is your exhaust manifold heat riser stuck shut? I assume you have an eight cyl. If your heat riser is stuck shut, half of your exhaust heat will be forced through the intake manifold, and your radiator will have to get rid of that heat.

Can you get a cheap cooking thermometer? It doesn't have to be super accurate; they rarely lie. Use a dry towel to hold it around your intake, radiator, etc. (Don't burn the towel on a hot exhaust manifold.)

The cooking thermometer is a good indicator to show where heat and coolant flow is, or isn't. After you check your temps, tell me how hot your engine really gets. You can take this measurement from the area your sending unit screws in.

Do you have a correct radiator cap? How many pounds of pressure is it rated for? I see you are in Ohio, so you don't have altitude problems. Ignition timing, and a lean air/fuel mixture will cause excessive heat, pre-ignition, detonation, etc.

When your car was new, your cooling system was designed to cross the Mojave Desert. You should still have that capacity.

Let us know. Dave

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Thanks for the reply.

The T-Adapter is the small pipe that runs between the block and the water pump which holds the Temp Sender. Radiator cap is a 16lb. cap. BOught it new with the radiator.

I will check on the manifold riser and the various temps and get another reply back.

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The 16-lb cap raises your boiling point like a pressure cooker. Three degrees per pound times 16 = 48 degrees F. Boiling point is: 212 + 48 = 260 degree F., at sea level. That's VERY good. Most old cars only have 5-7 lb caps. Some don't use ANY pressure, so they need huge radiators.

Rob, I'm anxious to hear your temp readings.

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If you have overfilled the radiator, it will act like it is overheating. You have to leave some air in the top of the tank for expansion, otherwise it push water out the overflow when it gets warm.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CD8_Rob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've got a '59 Galaxie that I've been working on. Recent challenge: Engine is overheating. So far I have replaced the Thermostat, Radiator, Temperature Sensor (and T-adapter), belts and hoses. I have also taken the pump apart and verified proper operation. But its still overheating. I'm looking for suggestions, I know that timing could cause some overheating, but overheating seems excessive for overheating. All suggestions are welcome.

Thanks </div></div>

You need to supply more information.

1. Is the car overheating at idle only or when you are driving down the road at 60 mph?

2. What is the outdoor temperature when the car is overheating?

3. What is the coolant temperature? Above 220 F?

4. Is the radiator actually boiling over and steaming?

5. What is your thermostat temperature rating? 180? 190? Other?

6. What engine do you have?

7. Have you had the cooling system thoroughly flushed?

8. What is your intial timing?

Unless you can fully characterize the problem, you will be replacing parts forever without ever knowing why.

My 1964 Galaxie with a 390 will run at about 210 F on a 90 degree day while idling along a parade route. That is perfectly normal. I have a 180 degree thermostat. On the highway, regardless of how hot it gets (although I overheat at about 92 F), it never gets above 190 F.

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Reply to Dave, Not overfilled, actually on the latest test after I replaced everything, it was possibly under-filled.

Reply to Bill:

1.Not really at idle, but I've not had it down the road at much more than 30-40mph during tests.

2. Not terribly hot, 75-80 degree outside

3. Not absolutely sure, but assuming over 220 as its burying the TempGauge need at H.

4. Thermostat is new and rated 180 degrees fully open.

5. The old radiator was steaming, but radiator was in bad shape and only had a 6lb cap.

6. Thunderbird Special - V8 5.8L 352 4BB Carb.

7. I've replaced everything, except have not flushed the block. That's on my to do list with timing, and some of Dave's recommendations.

8. Timing unknown right now.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CD8_Rob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Reply to Dave, Not overfilled, actually on the latest test after I replaced everything, it was possibly under-filled.

Reply to Bill:

1.Not really at idle, but I've not had it down the road at much more than 30-40mph during tests.

2. Not terribly hot, 75-80 degree outside

3. Not absolutely sure, but assuming over 220 as its burying the TempGauge need at H.

4. Thermostat is new and rated 180 degrees fully open.

5. The old radiator was steaming, but radiator was in bad shape and only had a 6lb cap.

6. Thunderbird Special - V8 5.8L 352 4BB Carb.

7. I've replaced everything, except have not flushed the block. That's on my to do list with timing, and some of Dave's recommendations.

8. Timing unknown right now.

</div></div>

Ok. A few other questions and some thoughts.

1. Really need to know what it is doing at idle. Check the fan operation. Is the fan a clutched fan or fixed? If it is a clutch type fan, the clutch may be defective and not engaging as the rpm drops.

2. Need to know the TRUE water temp. The factory gauges are not that accurate. I suggest installing a mechanical water temp gauge. The ones from SunPro are cheap and pretty accurate.

3. The temperature rating of a thermostat is when it STARTS to open, not when it is fully open. In other words, a 180 degree stat starts to open at 180 F and is fully open by 190 - 195 F. Did you install the thermostat in the correct direction? Did you fully bleed air out of the cooling system? The temperature sender on the Ford intake is in kind of a dead area. An air pocket could be trapped, giving you erroneous readings.

4. Has the engine been rebuilt? If it has been, were the head gaskets installed in the proper direction? If installed wrong, they will block the water ports between the block and head. There should be a rectangular tab sticking out near the side front of the head if the gasket is installed properly.

5. Do completely flush the system. A lot of crud builds up inside that needs to come out. When you do, make sure to get all the air out of the system.

6. Check intial timing. Stock is probably around 5 - 6 degrees BTDC. I run 10 degrees BTDC with no problems.

7. Do you have a fan shroud? Was one available for that year? My 64 was running warm in hot weather. I installed a reproduction fan shroud and replaced the stock, fixed fan with a Flex-i-Lite flex fan a few years ago and have not had a problem in hot weather since.

Good luck. Let us know what you find.

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Dave (SimplyConnected),

I did find that the Exhaust Valve was rusted Shut (or Heat ON). After a bit of persuasion, I was able to loosen it and it moves freely now. Thanks for the suggestion. However, manuals read that the valve is automatically controlled, but I don't see anything that would appear to manipulate its position. Can you explain/elaborate?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CD8_Rob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dave (SimplyConnected),

I did find that the Exhaust Valve was rusted Shut (or Heat ON). After a bit of persuasion, I was able to loosen it and it moves freely now. Thanks for the suggestion. However, manuals read that the valve is automatically controlled, but I don't see anything that would appear to manipulate its position. Can you explain/elaborate? </div></div>

I would think that it is like a choke. If there is some sort of spring around the hinge, it would be closed when cold and open up as it heats up.

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THERE is where your heat is coming from. Here's how it works: The bi-metal spring and counterweight return the valve to the closed position as soon as your engine stops exhaust flow, and it cools down in that position. IN THE WINTER (especially in the snow belt), northerners can NEVER get heat fast enough. A thermostat works ok, but more can be done to speed the warm-up process by re-routing exhaust gasses. So, on V-8's, the heat riser valve blocks-off exhaust gasses to the muffler on one side, sending it through the middle of your intake manifold, and out the other side's exhaust. I'm sure you have seen the black soot on your intake manifold if you ever took it off; that's why.

During this process, heat comes up the intake manifold casting, warming the raw-gas mixture, but also warming the automatic choke (on Ford's, it is buried in the intake man). When the exhaust manifold gets real hot, the heat riser valve opens, because of the bi-metal (spiral) spring, and the exhaust gasses pushing it to the open position. It's a butterfly valve. When it opens, you will DEFINATELY hear exhaust coming out of both exhaust pipes, (if you have dual exhaust). Water passages also go through your intake manifold. If the heat riser sticks shut, coolant must pull the heat away. In one instance the heat riser is very good. In the 'stuck shut' condition, your cooling system must carry excessive heat away and your radiator exchanges heat as best it can.

The heat-riser valve should have VERY loose ‘bearings’. On 60's Chrysler cars, heat risers made a bad rattling noise. Heat risers are NOT necessary, all in-line engines (I-6) don't have one. Some guys wire theirs in the open position, and forget it. A new spacer (to eliminate the valve) costs about $20, but a new heat riser valve costs about $80:

Tee-Bird.com When you open this, put "heat riser" in the Search Box. If you are serious about buying, call Tee-Bird, and ask Bill or Ellis if his parts will fit your car. I think they will. Heat risers are hard to find at a decent price. If Tee-bird doesn't pan out, try: Mac's Auto Parts (outside Buffallo) They want five bucks more for your part.

Here's an example of your heat riser valve (also called, EXHAUST THERMOSTAT CONTROL) Part No. 9A427:

HeatRiser.jpg

In many cases, the bi-metal 'spring' is rusted completely off.

(The bi-metal is relatively thin metal.)

As the engine cools, the metals shrink, but rust expands the surfaces. That's why your exhaust joints 'weld' themselves together after time, and your heat riser sticks shut.

Let's get back to your cooling system. It has a certain capacity. When everything is working correctly, you should have lots of capacity to exchange heat, even driving across the desert. A blocked heat riser valve cuts your cooling capacity tremendously. After it is fixed, you will notice improvements in many areas, including the air/fuel mixture and carb adjustments.

One last suggestion: Please don't mix new orange coolants with old green. Together, they make mud, and your pump will try to push it around. It closes port holes, then overheating is for sure. I don't care which coolant you use, but flush the system ten times, if you are changing antifreeze coolant systems. My classic came with green. It works just as well, is cheaper, and I will always stay with it. If you need the parts and illustrations manuals for your '59, let me know. That's where I got this picture. - Dave

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Thanks again, Dave. It appears to be moving around fine right now. I haven't been able to get out and do much more work on it this week. Hoping to get out there this weekend to run it and see what my engine heat looks like now. Thanks also for the links, have bought from Mac's already, I'm bookmarking Tee-Birds for future reference. I'll take any pics that you might have I currently use a shop manual that I found at the following location. Its for a '58 (Fairlane) but finding that most is the same (at least mechanically).

http://www.tocmp.com/manuals/Ford/1958/Service/index.html

I'll send you my email. Assuming that's the easiest way to send the pics.

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Well, I was able to get out and work on the Galaxie Saturday evening. The Heat Riser is definitely not opening. Made sure that it was moving and then heated the car up (Short 1/2 mile drive was all it took to drive the needle to Hot) and the Riser would not automatically open. Going to try to wire it open to see if it nets any results. Other analysis has halted until I get an outcome on this. I'll keep the post updated as to what resolves the problem.

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Heat riser appears to have been the problem. I wired it open and ran the car. The cooling system was able to keep up with the engine heat. Still having an issue with my gauge (engine Temp gauge). Either the heat sender is not calibrated properly for my car or my gauge is off. Water temp is reading 180, but needle is still pressing into HOT. So working on determining which is failing.

Thanks to everyone who posted with suggestions!

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